Reigning European champion Niklas Kaul won the men’s decathlon at the Ratingen Stadtwerke Mehrkampf Meeting achieving the Olympic qualifying standard with 8484 points.
Kaul scored the fourth best tally of his career winning by 103 points over Jorge Urena from Spain (8381) and Rik Taam (8326). Both Urena and Taam improved their PBs.
Carolin Schaefer won the Ratingen meeting for the third time in her career with 6369 points following her previous wins in two consecutive editions in 2017 and 2018. Schaefer finished ahead of last year’s Ratingen winner Sophie Weissenberg (6247) and Olympic bronze medallist Emma Oosterwegel from the Netherlands (6209).
Overnight leader Urena ran the fastest time in the 110 metres hurdles with 14.00 at the start of the second day. Felix Wolter from Germany held on to his second spot with a PB of 14.28. Kaul came close to his PB by clocking 14.31.
Kaul moved from fifth to first in the overall lead with his second best ever mark of 48.57m in the discus throw.
Urena maintained his second place after his throw of 39.57m in the discus.
Kaul dropped down to third behind Tam and Urena after his clearance of 4.80m in the pole vault. The German athlete returned to the top of the overall ranking with his throw of 67.44m in the javelin throw (11 metres below his PB) before winning the 1500 metres in 4:14.19 to end the competition in first place.
Urena cleared 4.90m in the pole vault before missing his javelin PB by just 2 cm with 64.00m. The Spanish decathlete set a 1500m PB of 4:24.04 to improve his lifetime best to 8381 points.
Taam started the second day with 14.47 in the 110 metres hurdles and continued with 47.29m in the discus, a 5.00m clearance in the pole vault, a throw of 57.63m in the javelin throw. The Dutch athlete crowned a successful weekend with a PB of 4:20.99 in the 1500 metres. During the first day Taam set his PB in the long jump. He surpassed the 8300 points barrier for the first time in his career.
Thomas van Der Plaetzen improved his javelin PB to 68.94m to move up into third place in the overall standing. The Belgian athlete clocked 4:45.91 to finish fourth with 8233 points ahead of Wolter (8118).
Seven decathletes scored more than 8000 points. Tim Nowak finished fifth with 8075. Jannis Wolff surpassed the 8000 points barrier for the first time after setting four individual PBs. Wolff performed very well in the discus throw, where he improved his PB by almost five metres with 46.00m.
Niklas Kaul: “The second day was not very good. I started well in the hurdles and in the discus throw, but I had a technical black-out in the pole vault. The javelin was catastrophic. We changed the technique, but it did not work. My throw was 12 metres below my PB. I was very tired in the 1500 metres. I am not a good performer at meetings. I need more rest as in Championships events, when there are three events in the morning and two in the evening. I will now relax for a few days to recover from this decathlon before starting the preparation for the World Championships in Budapest”.
Last year’s Ratingen heptathlon winner Sophie Weissenberg leapt to 6.31m in the long jump to move into first place in the overall standing ahead of Schaefer, who jumped 5.83m to drop down to second place.
Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam, who competed in five selected events instead of a full heptathlon, recorded the best mark of 6.59m.
Schaefer threw the javelin to 50.23m to return to the top of the overall ranking. Thiam won the javelin with 52.61m.
Schaefer clocked 2:14.94 to take the win by 122 points over Weissenberg, who ran 2:22.94 to maintain her second place.
Carolin Schaefer: “I recovered well from Goetzis and I was able to work well in the next three weeks. The two days in Ratingen were very good. It was my 12th appearance at this meeting. I have to thank my former coaches Jorg Graf and Jurgen Sammert for giving me a good training base. I want to achieve the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games at next August’s World Championships in Budapest”.
Oosterwegel moved from sixth to third in the overall standing with a throw of 52.04m in the javelin. The Dutch athlete won the 800 metres in 2:12.60 to bring her overall score to 6209 points.
Kate O’Connor from Ireland, who won the silver medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, finished fourth with 6125. Verena Mayr from Austria also surpassed the 6000 points barrier with 6023 in her first heptathlon competition since the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo after a thigh injury.